December 2010

December 1 — Leeman to Jurien Bay, 46.51 klms, Avg speed 11.00 kph, Cycling time 4.13 hrs; Total kms 18,141.37

Today the wind was our enemy, for Greg to say he found the ride hard going it must have been bad and it was, a terrible blustery southerly as we rode through undulating low scrub. The road follows the coast, however, you can rarely see the sea.  Compared to yesterday, we covered half the distance today in virtually the same riding time, it was a slow grind with heads down so not seeing a large, brown snake on the side of the road until we were level with it.  It didn’t move so we presumed it was dead but didn’t linger to find out.  What a relief when Jurien Bay appeared in the distance, we stopped at a cafe for a cuppa & recovered, rotten wind ggrrrr. We set up camp and while Greg was unpacking he took another look at his rear wheel rim.  He thought he had dented the rim at Horrocks Beach as his rear brakes grabbed, so while we were in Northampton he tinkered to see if he could fix it. On closer examination he discovered the rim has cracked around the side wall and was bulging out.  Not a good sign, mmmm. We dined at one of the two pubs where the food was pretty ordinary and expensive.  My dish of vegetarian cannelloni was delivered to the table dry and burnt on the edges.  If the kitchen had been under some sort of pressure you could understand but not forgive this happening. However, we were the only diners, so there’s no excuse. We didn’t go back.

December 2 to 4 — Jurien Bay (pop 1,472)

It’s a blissfully relaxed fishing town with a national park to the east & a marine park just offshore littered with a string of islands perfect for sea lions & seabird breeding.  The town is a water lover’s paradise with perfect  weather conditions (uh,what about the wind?) for swimming, windsurfing, surfing, boating & diving.  There’s a fantastic 5 klm walk/cycle path all along the foreshore, for us it’s a walk path as Horsey has broken down and is not well. We have decided that Greg’s rear wheel rim is too damaged to risk breaking down in the middle of nowhere, so we have decided to see if we could either get a replacement rim from one of the guys in the  caravan park (he didn’t have one), hire a car to drive to Perth and get one (no car hire in Jurien), or catch the Greyhound bus to Perth, our least desirable option but beggars can,t be choosers.  Greg spent the morning on the internet and has ordered some wheel rims from the UK and spokes from the US.  Thank God for the internet!  He’s ordered two rims as we’ll replace my rear rim as well as it is obvious that the existing rims are not up to the task. We replaced both rims 18 months ago in Cairns with exactly the same problem so we’ll give these new ones a go.  We’ve booked our bus tickets and will stay in Jurien, which is no hardship, until Sunday, then load Crazy Ruby, Horsey, our panniers and ourselves onto the big red bus for the four hour journey to Perth, arriving 1 week earlier than planned.  I spent the next few hours on the net to see if we could arrange some accommodation. The Ashes cricket is on in Perth just about when we arrive so accommodation is a wee bit tight.  We could stay at a caravan park about six kilometres out of town but I found a room at a pub in Northbridge, the restaurant and cafe part of Perth, for $45 per night, I’m not called Betty Budget for nothing, Northbridge Hotel here we come!

December 5 — Perth via Greyhound Bus - 267 klms

We packed up our tent for probably the last time in 2010 and load our bikes, bags and bodies into what Greg calls the dreaded Greyhound. The bus arrived on time and we set off covering the same route we would have cycled the following week, and arrived in central Perth four hours later. After arriving at The Northbridge Hotel in our cat-swinging twin room, we had a quick cuppa and then headed out in search of dinner.  We’re spoilt for choice here with Italian, Chinese, Malaysian, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, Greek, Indonesian, Japanese and, oh yeah, Australian.  We think we’ve done the steak and chips thing for a while so we settled down to a fantastic and cheap Vietnamese feed of rice paper rolls, Pho and fried rice. Oh how we’ve missed these foods...

With medicals, blood tests, dental & skin checks booked for the both of us, plus having the bikes serviced and repaired, we’ve plenty to do this week and are perfectly placed right in the heart of Perth.

December to end of January 2011 — Perth (pop 1,650,000 metropolitan)

We’re off the bikes now until the end of January primarily to avoid being on the road during the school holidays.  We’re looking forward to discovering the beauty of Australia’s sunniest capital over the next couple of months & our time here will be depicted with our photos.  Since April this year we’ve ridden through some challenging but beautiful countryside & continue to be excited by our amazing journey:-

Our cycling stats for 2010:

Cycling period—7 April to 1 Dec (Darwin to Perth)

Klms cycled-5,062

Avg klm per day-69.03

Avg klm per hour-15.12

Total klms cycled to date-18,141.37